Allow -me to introduce myself. I’m ShareBuilders’ newest pricing consultant, but before that, I was a broadcast sales manager with over 30 years in the business. I’ve done almost everything you can do on the sales side, from research to local/national sales to local/national sales management. From broadcast to cable and back to broadcast. I used to think I was pretty good at what I did (and I think I was), but there were certain things that used to keep me up at night as a manager. Questions like: how can I create a well-thought-out budget and market for the following year? How do I know if our share is suffering or doing ok within the quarter? Is my forecast in the ballpark? Do we have enough inventory to get to goal, and what can I do to maximize share without sacrificing rate integrity so I can hit my budget and share?
The broadcast industry has been steadily moving toward using impressions as a measurement metric over the past couple of years, but it’s not doing so without some growing pains. Ratings are hard to let go of- they’ve been used as the default standard for decades. It’s only natural that broadcast sales staff are overwhelmed and struggling to adapt to the new systems. When you’re suddenly asked to change something so fundamental to the way that you’ve been working your entire career, it’s hard to shift gears. We at ShareBuilders have felt some of the same trepidation in trying to adapt to this new normal, so we thought we’d share some of the things we’ve learned along the way.
Creating rate cards can be one of the most tedious, time consuming tasks a broadcast sales manager faces. When you’re literally dealing in time, it’s critical to strike a balance between getting fair rates for your advertising and not letting itexpire. It can be a significant challenge to set aside the time necessary to really focus and get it right. Unfortunately, few executives in such demanding roles have that kind of time to spare. As a result, rate cards are often not optimized, leaving dollars on the table.
World Radio Day is coming up, and we are excited about it. What is World Radio Day, you ask? Why, it’s a day to celebrate the world’s most powerful and ubiquitous medium for disseminating information and entertainment. UNESCO proclaimed February 13 World Radio Day in 2011, and it was later adopted by the UN General Assembly as an International Day in 2012. With radio being so ingrained in our daily lives, it’s easy to forget how awesome it is that we can transmit messages and music through the air. Science is amazing. In that light, let’s take a step back and really appreciate the miracle that is radio by checking out these ten fun radio facts.
ShareBuilders is pleased to introduce our newest Senior Consultant, Bill Witsik. After earning a degree in Political Science from Montclair State University, Bill spent much his career in broadcast sales and sales management. He has worked in nearly every facet of broadcast sales from Local AE to National Sales Manager. This experience will serve him well in his new role, as he will have first-hand knowledge of what our clients are facing as he makes his recommendations.
Preemptions are something every station must deal with to some degree or another. They obviously affect inventory management, but they also cost you money. Preemptions have many layers to them; meaning they have an impact to your bottom line on many different levels; one of which, may not be so apparent. Spoiler alert: We are talking about the time associated with the preemption. Remember that time is money. If you could avoid as many preemptions as possible, would you? That was a rhetorical question. In a perfect world, we would make the most of our inventory and avoid preemptions altogether. Wouldn’t it be great if more of your booked spots actually ran where they were initially booked? Also, a rhetorical question. So, how much is a preemption worth? Well, the answer is “it depends.” Let’s explore.
We’ll save you most of the cliches to describe the days between March 2020 to the present. However, you may accurately describe these many months as rough, frustrating, exhausting, and possibly migraine-inducing. Above all else, however cliché it may be, it has been uncertain. How do you put together a budget for next year when you don’t know what next month will look like? How do you factor automotive into your pricing when you don’t know if it will even be there? How can you count on the local client across town to buy again when they are crossing their fingers and toes that they will be in business a month from now? There are many things in our business that can knock us off course. For many, however, COVID didn’t knock us off course, it erased the path ahead and said, “Time to pave a new one.” With a tool like ShareBuilders at your disposal, you can get back on course and navigate the uncertain with much more confidence.
Nailing down your budget for the year is no easy task. Once you’ve navigated the obstacles in your budgeting process and came to your best conclusion on the many unknowns of the year ahead, you are finally at a number that allows you to rest easy. However, the battle is only halfway over. Now you need to figure out your spread. You know where you need to be to come out on top for the year, but how about each quarter or each month? There are many smaller victories along the path to conquering the year.
Your budget is only as good as the data you use to create it with. Without reliable data, your budget is highly likely to miss the mark. With accurate historical data, you can build a budget that you and your sales team can stand behind with confidence for the year ahead.